I have been reading a lot of articles of what foods or ingredients to avoid or what you should eat. The problem with a lot of them is that they are biased towards a Vegan or a Paleo mindset and everything in between. It is quite amusing to see one article say ‘avoid this’ and another one recommending to eat that same thing!
I have always been of the belief that a balanced life of exercise, relaxation, and fulfillment is no different than a balanced diet of veggies and other protein sources which includes fish, poultry and meat.
Our evolution alone shows that we have been meat eaters for hundreds of thousands of years through our canine teeth which are used to tear meat. Our ancestors would have had a tough go in that era to get their 20 essential amino acids (proteins, the building blocks of life) just by eating veggies. They would have had to incorporate rich protein sources like meat in order to have survived.
So with that aside, and knowing from what reference point I am coming from, here are some things that I feel you should avoid…
Foods to avoid…
Processed baked goods such as doughnuts, muffins, bagels and cakes. They provide tons of empty calories and are also hard to digest due to the sugar overload factor.
Hot dogs and pizza’s, ok I probably just lost half my audience but truthfully, these two items are nothing more than fat pills for your body. No matter how healthy you try to make them, they contain ridiculous amounts of fat grams. A normal hot dog is about 80% fat. Even the leanest ones still hit the 50% fat range.
If you are going to consume them, do it only on very special occasions like 4th of July, etc., but do not make them a regular weekly or monthly meal!
Soda’s regardless if it’s diet or not. Regular soda contains outrageous amounts of sugar causing insulin spikes and inhibiting your body from burning fat. Diet soda have, what I call fake sugar or sweetener. While it doesn’t provide the insulin spike of a regular soda, it does feed the body’s addiction to that ‘sweetness’ which makes you more prone to eat other foods that contain hidden sugars. Not to mention, the acidity content in all soda’s is not good for your enamels as well as digestive system.
Cereal’s, almost all of them are no good. Empty carbs and very little nutrition. The only one that I have found to be acceptable is the Original Fiber One. High in fiber content, very little sugar, great for digestive tract.
Margarine, loaded with trans fat also known as unsaturated fats which leads to the increase of heart disease. Choose small amounts of regular butter instead.
BBQ and Tomato sauces, this one is tough for me because I do like to use sauces in some of my meals. The reason these sauces are taboo is their fat and sugar content. One way around that is to make your own natural sauces or to read food labels carefully limiting the amount of sugar and fat you consume. Many of these sauces will contain from 12-20 grams of sugar and the equivalent amount of fat per serving. With some careful food shopping though, I have found some that contain 0-2 grams of each, a much healthier choice.
Soy Sauce, most will wonder why since it is low in calories. That is true but it is extremely high in sodium which leaves you bloated not to mention increases the risk of hypertension. You may opt to use light soy sauce but the difference is not that much compared to regular soy sauce, 600mg of sodium to 900mg, either way, an extraordinarily high amount.
Ingredients to avoid…
Sugar, almost impossible to avoid but you can take great lengths to minimizing it out of your meals or snacks. Excess sugar is attributed to increased blood pressure, liver damage, heart disease, diabetes, and inhibiting fat burning.
High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), I call this sugar on steroids! It’s a processed form of glucose used in just about everything for taste and extending shelf life in foods. HFCS inhibits your brain of knowing you are full thus making you eat more than you should. It’s a contributing factor to obesity and diabetes.
MSG, also known as monosodium glutamate but also goes by many other names. It is known to damage nerve cells through overexcitement. It can be found in canned soups, diet drinks, many fast foods, salad dressings and even some packaged vegetarian foods.
Sodium Nitrate and Sodium Nitrite, additives used to preserve shelf life in products like hot dogs, bacon and sausage. When mixed with stomach acids they form nitrosamines which are cancer causing cells linked to oral, stomach, brain and bladder cancers.
Sodium Chloride (Salt), used over the years as a preservative killing living bacteria that impedes the decay of food. You find it in just about any canned product in order to extend shelf life. As if that isn’t enough, it is also used as a spice for preparing foods!
Salt interferes with the absorption of water. It creates thirst because it pulls water out of our bloodstream. This has a damaging effect on the digestive system. It is also linked to hypertension and heart disease.
Many people will switch from table salt to sea salt or Himalayan salt. The difference between all of them is the way it is processed and refined and although the latter two have some health benefits, it will not help you lower your salt intake at all.
The key is to just consume less rather than consume the same amount in a different form.
So staying fit means doing certain things in your lifestyle but it is just as important to also stay away from others to be…Fit Forlife!